London Underground getting mobile coverage

Posted on Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 at 4:35 pm by Andy
London Underground Tube

Photograph: Frank Baron

The Tube system in the UK’s capital will be getting mobile network coverage, courtesy of Chinese manufacturer Huawei.

The firm is set to spend £50 million on creating the underground signal setup, which will allow millions of commuters and tourists to use their mobiles beneath the streets.

Significantly, it looks as though Huawei will be gifting this to the capital. This is all part of the switchover as China passes the baton on to London, ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.

This act of generosity is definitely going to be welcomed by many, although there could be an equally large group who are vexed at the thought of people chatting away in packed tube carriages during rush hour.

Huawei will not be the only company making contributions to this setup, as both Vodafone and O2 have committed funds and the Chinese firm will be charging for maintenance, so it is not an entirely free ride.

By providing smartphone users with network coverage on the underground, it could allow people to surf the web, send emails and make calls, which will be particularly popular amongst those who like to be able to work at all times of the day or night.